While the average reader may not know it, 2020 is the year of an important anniversary where the topic of smart machines is concerned. One hundred years ago, the word “robot” entered the English language, and with it, global popular culture. A century later and today’s mechanical robots are no longer consigned to fiction; they are an everyday fact of life at the consumer and industrial levels.
Compared to their 20th century counterparts, they are also getting smarter. Much smarter. So much so, that a new term, “intelligent automation,” has come to dominate. And increasingly, it’s being applied to existing industrial automation processes as a type of upgrade or transition from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0 and beyond. Regardless of I-status, industrial automation is a term that speaks broadly to the use of robots or machines to perform tasks once relegated to humans on the factory floor.
Thus, in a moment when the world faces a variety of unique challenges – most pressingly COVID-19 and its public health and economic fallout – intelligent automation (IA), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), is finding enhanced relevancy as Industry 4.0 continues to mature. Not only does adopting intelligent automation slash completion times and increase efficiency. It provides companies a competitive edge. By using the technology to make better decisions that will, in turn, benefit its own customers, saving time, money and resources, companies will be better equipped to handle a variety of current and future obstacles, including COVID-19.
In this engaging thought leadership article, author Dr. Bernd-Dietmar Becker, FARO’s Chief Technology Strategist, walks readers through this exciting transition while offering insights into what the factory of the (near) future will look like. The article concludes with pre investment initiatives so that your business can reap a powerful competitive edge.